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Presentation of the Audi e-tron FE04: Audi's first electric racing car

Audi Sport
Presentation of the Audi e-tron FE04 for Formula E
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I n the first three seasons of Formula E, Audi was still in the background as a partner of Abt Sportsline. That changes from the fourth season of the electric racing series. Audi is expanding its involvement to include a works event. Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport becomes Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler.

On Wednesday (September 27, 2017) the brand with the four rings presented its new car for the fourth season of Formula E. Called Audi e-tron FE04. The new color concept, which is very different from the predecessor FE02, is particularly striking. Lucas di Grassi's master car was painted green, yellow and red. On the other hand, the white portion of the new electric racing car predominates. In addition, metallic green and black mix. Audi colors the lower part of the front wing yellow.

New transmission with one gear

Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt, who Audi is officially upgrading to the status of works driver, remain the drivers. The cars of the two drivers are slightly different. Abts electric racing car is painted red on the nose, cockpit rim, roll bar and rear wing.

Audi Sport
Daniel Abt's racing car stands out from his team-mate's car with red accents.

The technology under the fairing is the same in both cars. Audi has developed a new drive unit together with Schaeffler. With the aim of 'making the motor-gearbox unit more efficient and increasing its efficiency'.

The engineers pack the drive in a carbon housing. The transmission only has one gear. In the predecessor FE02 there were three gears and an aluminum shell. However, the pilots had only used two gears because the shifting process cost important time. Manlistens from 0.1 to 0.2 seconds. With just one switching step, the technical team also hopes for better energy recovery.

According to the regulations, the output of the electric motor is a maximum of 200 kW. That is 272 hp that can only be used in qualifying. In the race, Formula E throttles the power to 180 kW (244 hp). It only increases to a maximum of 200 kW for a short time via fan boost. The mandatory car change is also part of the races in the fourth season. The chassis, wings and tires remain unitary components.

'Emotion instead of emissions' - what does the DTM department say?

'After quattro, TFSI, TDI, hybrid drive and many other innovations our first formula car a harbinger of our product offensive in the field of electromobility, which we will be launching in 2018 with the Audi e-tron, 'says Peter Mertens, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi AG. The Ingolstadt-based company wants to add more than 20 electrified cars (electric + plug-in) to the model range in the next eight years. The experience in Formula E should contribute to the development. Audi is promoting its Formula E future under the slogan “Emotion instead of emissions”. How will the DTM department react?

Audi's works team is led by three-time Le Mans winner Allan McNish. The new team boss has an experienced and successful team behind him. The Abt team has won six of the 33 Formula E races to date. All successes are due to master Lucas di Grassi. Like 20 of the 24 podium places. Audi will contest the first race on December 2 in Hong Kong. Before this is tested. On Friday (29 September) and Saturday, Audi will present the FE04 with Daniel Abt at the wheel at the E-Mobility Play Days at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. The official Formula E test drives will start in Valencia, Spain, from October 2nd.

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